Russian forces reportedly bombarded the village of Avdiivka Tuesday as Moscow attempts to push back the Ukrainian frontline near Donetsk City.
According to a report from the Agence France-Presse (AFP), officials in the area said that Avdiivka had come under heavy artillery over the past day and that Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s troops appeared to be attempting to encircle the village. The key settlement, which as of March had a population of roughly 1,700 people, sits on the front lines of the Russian-Ukraine war, and Kyiv has managed to hold onto control despite near-constant Russian shelling for months.
“For over a year, there has been the danger that [Avdiivka] can be occupied, but now the situation has worsened rapidly,” Vitaliy Barabash, head of Avdiivka’s administration, told AFP
Avdiivka police officer Pavlo Diachenko also told AFP that the town was undergoing a “severe artillery attack.” Newsweek reached out to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry via email for comment.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported Monday that Russia continued its ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line and made “marginal advances” south of Donetsk City near the village of Novomykhailivka. Ukrainian military officials also acknowledged that Russia had conducted several attacks toward Avdiivka but said Tuesday evening that all of Moscow’s advances were unsuccessful.
Russia has focused much of its offensive campaign near Donetsk city as Kyiv continues its counteroffensive operations to regain territory in east and southeastern Ukraine. On Monday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces claimed partial success near the villages of Klishchiivka and Adriivka, which are both located just southwest of the Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut. Meanwhile, ISW reported that Moscow did not make any “claimed or confirmed” advances in the area.
“We are repelling constant attacks near Klishchiivka and Andriivka,” Ilia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern group of forces, said on national television, according to a report from Reuters Monday.
“Every day we are making headway in the Bakhmut sector,” Yevlash continued. We are talking about hundreds of meters at a time that we are liberating from our enemies and strengthening our positions. It is, however, too early to talk about achieving concrete goals.”
Ukrainian forces also reportedly advanced in the Zaporizhia region on Monday west of the town of Verbove, according to Kyiv military officials, and repelled a Russian attack north of Novoprokopivka. Russian milbloggers also reported marginal Ukrainian advances southwest of Russian-controlled Orikhiv, according to ISW’s report.